Demonstrating that foreign policy issues and their implications on domestic issues are of concern to the electorate, more than 80 residents joined a pre-election meeting organised by Brent Stop the War (STW) and Brent & Harrow Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) with the Pakistan Community Centre in Willesden Green on Monday, April 13.

As members of the two organisations live in all three constituencies, five prospective Parliamentary candidates were invited from these constituencies. However, Luke Parker, Conservative candidate for Brent North, had to cancel just days before and the party was not represented.

Questions were submitted to the candidates ahead of the meeting on issues including Trident renewal, the Iraq war, Israeli settlements, British torture complicity, relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran and Israel’s nuclear weapons. The interest and depth of questions posed by those attending the meeting shows that although governments tend to ignore public opinion on foreign policy, particularly where such opinions are opposed to war and militancy, these are certainly topics that concern and engage the public.

What happens on these issues after May 7 remains to be seen.

Aisha Maniar and Sheila Robin

via email